Every good parent wants what’s best for their child, and that includes making sure their oral health is as good as it can be. For new parents dental care can be confusing, and the unfortunate result can be problems for their child.
At Creating Smiles we want to be sure your child gets off to a good start, and that means caring for your teeth while you’re pregnant. Poor oral health during pregnancy doesn’t only affect you – it sets your child up for a life of oral health problems that could have been prevented!
How Pregnancy Can Damage Your Child’s Smile
If you’ve ever been pregnant you know how much changes in your body. Your body needs to do a lot to create a new life, and not all the side effects are great. One of the biggest dangers is the hormonal chances that affect your oral health – it’s much easier to develop gum disease during pregnancy.
Commonly called pregnancy gingivitis, bacteria infections are common in the mouths of pregnant women. If you’ve noticed any bleeding from the gums, swelling, redness, or recession you’re probably noticing the early signs of gum disease. It’s not just serious for you, but it’s also very serious for the health of your child!
Women who develop pregnancy gingivitis are far more likely to have premature or underweight births, and they also pass on harmful bacteria strains to their child. Gum disease results in oral bacteria getting into the blood, and when it does it can pass directly to your child. They’ll be born with those strains of bacteria and will have them for life – a life which includes a higher risk of gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss.
Pregnancy And Your Oral Health
If lasting effects for your child wasn’t enough, pregnancy gingivitis will take its toll on you too. In the days before modern dentistry it was common for women who bore children to lose most of their teeth, which we now know was due to gum disease that may have developed during pregnancy. That same risk is present for you, but thankfully we have treatments available to easily treat gum disease and prevent tooth loss.
You also need to worry about the effects of morning sickness. Plenty of women become nauseated and vomit during pregnancy, which can only increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Stomach acid is just as damaging to your mouth as the acid produced by plaque bacteria, so if you find yourself suffering from frequent bouts of morning sickness be sure to rinse your mouth out each time you vomit. Try not to brush, though: acid softens your tooth enamel and brushing can scrape it right off!
How To Ensure You Keep Your Mouth Healthy
If you’re pregnant – or are planning to become pregnant – you need to make an extra effort to ensure your oral health stays perfect in the months ahead. It might seem a bit daunting, and a lot of expectant mothers don’t know where to begin, but that’s why we’re here.
Our St John and Valparaiso teams are dedicated to helping every expectant mother get the care she needs for a healthy, successful pregnancy. If you’re wondering what you need to do then you’ve come to the right place!
The best start to improving your oral health is to get a comprehensive exam and cleaning at Creating Smiles. We’ll assess your entire mouth in order to find any problems that may be lurking in the hard-to-reach spots of your teeth and gums. We’ll design a treatment plan for any existing problems and also help you get back on track for oral health.
You’ll need to be sure you’re seeing us more than usual during pregnancy – you won’t be able to get away with just one visit over those nine months. Depending on your oral health during your initial exam we’ll be able to suggest an appropriate number of visits.
Brushing and flossing at home are more essential than ever, and are your only day-to-day defense against oral bacteria. Be sure you’re brushing twice a day and flossing every night – you can’t make exceptions during this crucial period of time!
Give Your Child A Healthy Start
family-centered dentist office wants to help you give birth to a happy, healthy child in the only way we can: with good dental care now. If you want to schedule an appointment you can reach our St John office at 219-322-9920 and our Valparaiso office at 219-462-1970. You can also request an appointment online for either location.
We look forward to seeing you soon!
Creating Smiles, PC, located in St. John and Valparaiso, Indiana, offers everything you need for a healthy smile and a healthier life. Dr. Kapers and his team can take the anxiety and uncertainty out of dental visits with sedation dentistry, and we're the premier provider of dental implants in the region.